You don’t need us or anyone else to tell you that being in good shape can significantly improve your quality of life. This is common knowledge. Everyone knows things would be better if they worked out consistently. Everyone knows they would feel better and look better if they ate well. And yet, countless people struggle with turning healthy choices into habits. And we can’t blame them — all of our yoga and Pilates instructors have struggled with this. Staying fit is a lot of work, and everybody has struggled with it! It’s totally human.
But that begs the question: why is it so hard? We don’t have a straight answer, but we can help you arrive at a solution. The most important part of getting fit is consistency, and as it turns out, it’s much easier to keep things going if you can build up a solid habit and keep it up for just a little while. The problem is, most people drop off before habits have been maintained long enough to stick.
We want to help you overcome that obstacle! Let’s look at some good ways to convert healthy lifestyle choices into consistent habits.
Pick a Time and Stick With It
Seasoned gymgoers and athletes can often afford to be flexible with their workout schedules, since they’ve done it long enough to discipline themselves into going, no matter what. But for newcomers, it’s better to establish a defined workout time, and stick to it. Why? Because it helps to form a reliable and predictable habit.
It’s easier to commit to things when we can expect them, and when we give ourselves less room to wiggle out. By saying “I’m working out at 7:30 every single day,” it makes it ever-so-slightly easier to subconsciously stick with it.
Don’t Give Yourself An “Out”
The reason why this kind of predictability is important is because it prevents you from having an “out.” There are many responsibilities which we know we have to do, but if there’s an opportunity which gives us a justifiable excuse to skip out on it, it’s easy to take that opportunity because it’s less work. When you don’t schedule your workouts, it won’t be long before there’s some other commitment that presents itself and you say “well, I’ll just work out later instead. I’ll find room for it.” Unfortunately, in most cases, this ends up being a self-deception.
This is also why it’s important to establish backup workout times. If you have 7:30 as your designated workout time, but there’s an unavoidable commitment that gets in the way, have a secondary backup time — one that’s constant, not conjured on the spot. Say “I will always work out at 7:30 every day, but if something comes up, I will always work out at 4:00 instead.” It’s surprisingly effective!
Start Off Easy
We have to confront an unfortunate truth about the human brain: it loves to squirm away from challenges. Some people are able to overcome their impulses and embrace activities which pushes them to their limits. But most people are tempted to avoid hard work if there’s a viable alternative, even if it happens on a subconscious level.
That’s why you should avoid starting off with demanding workouts. It always goes the same way — you start off saying “This is it, this is the beginning of my new habit. I’m going to keep this going for sure!” and then you do an exhausting hour-long workout which works you breathless. It feels good! You say “That was amazing! I’m going to do this over and over again!” and then you hit the sack, proud of the strain you feel, knowing your body is getting stronger.
Well, then the next day comes. You’re sore. You’re tired. You have things to do. You realize your workout is going to take an hour or more, and you remember how hard it was the first time. Suddenly, you’re looking for excuses to get out of it. But this can be avoided — when you start off nice and simple, it’s far easier to say, “I can do that again!” And once you’ve mastered the art of repetition, you can start challenging yourself more because you’ll have trained yourself to not bail out.
Take a Fitness Class
We’ve established two things so far — that consistent, relatively easy workouts are two building blocks to a developed habit. Want to make things easier on yourself and knock out both of these in one? Consider attending a fitness class!
When you sign up for classes and/or workout sessions at a fitness studio, you commit to a specific time and date. Step one, complete! As for ease of workout, you’ll find that fitness instructors are very good at adjusting workouts based on the needs of those in attendance. If you’re a beginner, you’ll have options to do the workout in a way that’s adapted to your lack of experience. Fitness instructors are adept at helping newcomers grow into their element, so you won’t have to worry about being outclassed by other people in the room — everyone develops at their own pace!
If you’re in Prosper or the surrounding areas, we can think of no fitness studio better than Prosper. We teach Pilates, yoga, Spin, and Barre classes, and we also offer the Lagree Program, which is a unique full-body workout experience that’s gaining traction all over the country. We’d love to see you stop by, and you can bet that we can help you develop a reliable fitness habit.
Get Into it With Friends
Whether you’re beginning your workout with a friend or family member who’s an established fitness guru, or one who’s equally inexperienced as you, you have little to lose and much to gain when you commit alongside someone else.
If you start working out with someone who already knows their stuff, the benefits are obvious — they can help show you the ropes, encourage you to commit to your workouts, and keep you accountable. A fellow beginner, on the other hand, is someone who you can relate to, and your shared desire to get in shape can be a strong driving force.
Most challenges in life are easier when you can endure them with someone by your side. Workout buddies can help to lift each other up, rejoice in each others’ successes, and create a sense of accountability if one person is ever tempted to start slacking.
Stay Positive and Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
Finally, one of the most important ones. Please don’t be hard on yourself when you’re trying to develop a fitness habit! Yes, consistency is important. Yes, it’s good to start off easy and take classes and jump in with other people. But it’s also really easy to “mess up” when you’re trying to form a habit, and if you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, you’ll add unneeded stress to your life when you miss a workout or indulge in an unhealthy meal. And, of course, if it starts to stress you out too much, it gives you a good excuse to just quit altogether.
Mistakes happen. That’s life! But don’t beat yourself up about it. We advise keeping a calendar and marking every single day that you workout. If you ever miss a day, don’t look at it as breaking your streak — that’s defeating. Instead, look at how much you did work out before that, and imagine what it would look like if you had another straight line of successes afterward. With this perspective, you can see that one measly missed day isn’t a big deal. As long as you’re trending in a positive direction, you’re doing it right.
Try Out Yoga and Pilates Classes at Our Prosper Fitness Studio
Are you ready to begin a new, healthy era of your life? We would love to help. At Re:Gen, we offer a variety of fitness classes and programs, and our instructors know exactly how to shape the workouts so that everyone gets the maximum benefit according to their fitness level. Whether you’re practicing therapeutic movements in yoga and Pilates, working up a sweat in our Spin classes, or getting a comprehensive full-body workout in our Lagree Fitness Program, everyone can find something to love at Re:Gen Pilates.